Here are 5 of the most common hurdles we see folks face when trying to shed off things they no longer use and need:
It’s Too Precious for Goodwill
- Find a charity you like and believe in and one you feel really appreciates your donations – it will help ease your attachments and satisfy that need for things to go to a “good” home.
It’s Worth Too Much To Give Away
- Are you sure? What you paid for it and what it’s worth now are rarely the same. Get confirmation from an auction house (usually can text pictures or bring things in on a free appraisal day). If you find out it’s not worth what you thought, you may be willing to just donate. And if it really is valuable you can sell it through a buyer or auction house.
I Don’t Want It To End Up In Landfill
- Try Freecycle, Craigslist, NextDoor for items that are not donatable (particle board furniture).
- Take advantage of the Bay Area’s unique donation options such as Urban Ore, East Bay Depot for Creative Re-Use, and SCRAP
- Some things really are trash and we have to accept that. The only way to stop that kind of outflow is not to buy it in the first place!
I Could Use This Someday
- Beware of prioritizing the future over the present. Having a space crowded with “maybe, someday” can keep you from living fully in the present. You need to weigh that cost against the cost of possibly having to replace something if you do actually need it later.
I Feel Guilty Giving It Up
- Ah, good old guilt. So impractical, yet so tenacious! Sometimes it helps to put the shoe on the other foot…would you want someone else to hang onto a gift you gave them solely out of obligation if they really didn’t need or want it?
- Try a little ritual of appreciation to help relieve guilt before releasing an object. For gifts, take a moment and recognize the good intention someone had when they gave it. For other items, acknowledge the pleasure or service the item gave you. For example, to let greeting cards go, our friend Maggie thinks of the person who gave it to her and gives the card/letter/Christmas picture a kiss before she puts it in recycling
There are no rights and wrongs in your own process; as usual, you get to decide how much to keep and what to let go. Beware how much of a project you’re creating for yourself and how much are you willing to do. Keep in mind your larger goal of how you want your home to function and feel and let that be your constant guide!